“Well, ma’am, my plan is this,” began Polly, imitating Mrs. O’Grady’s important tone and bad grammar: “Gores is out, and plaits is in; therefore, as the top of this skirt is quite fresh, we will take off the ruffles, turn it upside down, and leave it plain. The upper skirt will be made scantier, and finished with a frill; then the waist can be refreshed with the best parts of these wide flounces, and out of those new bits we will concoct a hat. The black lace Maud has just taken off the green one, will do to edge the violet; and with your nice silk mantilla you are complete, don’t you see?”

“I don’t quite see it yet, but I have firm faith that I shall in time, and consider my calling costume finished,” said Fanny, getting more and more interested as she saw her condemned wardrobe coming out fresh again under Polly’s magic knack.

“There are two; then that piqué is all right, if you cut the tail off the jacket, and change the trimming a bit. The muslins only need mending and doing up, to look as well as ever; you ought not to put them away torn and soiled, my child. The two black silks will be good stand-bys for years. If I were you, I’d have a couple of neat, pretty prints for home wear; and then I don’t see why you aren’t fixed well enough for our short season.”

“Can’t I do anything with this barège? It’s one of my favourite dresses, and I hate to give it up.”

“You wore that thoroughly out, and it’s only fit for the rag-bag. Yes, it was very pretty and becoming, I remember, but its day is over.”

Fanny let the dress lie in her lap a minute, as she absently picked up the fringe, smiling to herself over the happy time when she wore it last, and Sydney said she only needed cowslips in her lap to look like spring. Presently she folded it up, and put it away with a sigh; but it never went into the rag-bag, and my sentimental readers can understand what saved it.

“The ball dresses had better be put nicely away till next year,” began Polly, coming to a rainbow-coloured heap.

“My day is over, I shall never use them again; do what you like with them,” said Fan, calmly.

“Did you ever sell your cast-off finery, as many ladies do?” asked Polly.

“Never; I don’t like the fashion. I give it away, or let Maud have it for tableaux.”

“I wonder if you would mind my telling you something Belle proposed?”

“If it’s an offer to buy my clothes, I should mind,” answered Fanny, sharply.

“Then I won’t,” and Polly retired behind a cloud of arsenic-green gauze, which made her look as if she had the cholera.

“If she wanted to buy that horrid new ‘gooseberry-coloured gown’, as Tom calls it, I’d let her have it cheap,” put in Maud, who was of a practical turn.

“Does she want it, Polly?” asked Fan, whose curiosity got the better of her pride.

“Well, she merely asked if I thought you’d be mortally offended if she offered to take it off your hands, as you’d never worn it. You don’t like it, and another season it will be all out of fashion,” said Polly, from her verdant retreat.

“What did you say?”

“I saw she meant it kindly, so I said I’d ask. Now between ourselves, Fan, the price of that dress would give you all you’ll want for your spring fixings, that’s one consideration; then here’s another, which may

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.